Help needed! Copying files via terminal not working (error -36)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by jamierorison, May 8, 2013.

  1. jamierorison macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2013
    Hi everybody, really desperate for some direct 'this is how you do it' or 'you're an idiot, you can't do that' kind of help! ha. I have been scouring google, youtube and some of your own topics but going back to 2008, and have got no further.

    In a nutshell, My 2009 macbook pro is on it's last legs. I am starting to look at backing up my files before the mac dies and I have lost important data. At the moment I am transferring all my movie files from my mac, on to a USB (looks like a FAT-16 SanDisk Cruzer), and then on to my playstation 3. However, about 50% of my files won't transfer. Some will and others represent this Error 36. After looking in to it, many people seem to have had this problem and discovered that it is a finder issue, so have been successful using Terminal to do this on older software (I am running up to date OS X Mountain Lion).

    What I want to know is the exact prompts as the terminal either gives me a syntax error (don't even know...) or says 'Permission denied' (I am the admin). I am lost and have zero experience in this field and I really hoped you could help me if I was to give you more information on the files I'm trying to transfer as I am starting to think that maybe it is them and not the finder?

    so for example, I am trying to transfer the film Ted at the moment. the file it can be located in is /Users/**myusername**/Downloads/Ted (2012) [1080p] and my usb shows up as /dev/disk1 or DOS_FAT_16 NO NAME. I have tried many things but never anything with the DOS_FAT_16 NO NAME part of that. Can you please PLEASSSSEEEE help me out because it's not just movie files I am having problems with, they're just the most prominent types facing issues and I think it may be something I am doing wrong in terminal.

    Sorry for the long winded message, wanted to make sure I put everything so you may be able to help more. Thanks, I'll stick around tonight in case you need to ask me anything
  2. w0lf macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2013
    Are your movies in folders or just movie files?
    I'm also assuming your usb drive is named 'NO NAME'

    Something along the lines of this should work:

    #make a movies folder in your usb drive
    mkdir /Volumes/NO\ NAME/Movies

    # if the movie's in a folder
    sudo cp -R ~/Downloads/Ted\ (2012)\ [1080p] /Volumes/NO\ NAME/Movies

    # if the movie's just a file
    sudo cp ~/Downloads/Ted\ (2012)\ [1080p].* /Volumes/NO\ NAME/Movies
  3. MacUser2525, May 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2013

    MacUser2525 macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2007
    Won't work you have failed to escape the special characters in the line like so.

    # if the movie's in a folder
    sudo cp -R ~/Downloads/Ted\ \(2012\)\ \[1080p\] /Volumes/NO\ NAME/Movies
    It is usually a good idea to use tab completion on the command line with directories like this so that OSX through the bash completion can do it automatically for you. To use the auto completion you type in the first few letters of the directory or file and hit the TAB key to have it complete the rest properly if more than one item (directory, file) will be completed with the same letters then hitting TAB twice gives you list of them. This helps you with seeing the next character needed to be typed for the completion you want.

    The meaning of the error below looks like there could be problem with the drive itself if it persists.

    MacUser2525:~$ macerror -36
    Mac OS error -36 (ioErr): I/O error (bummers)

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